Train ticket prices to rise by inflation-busting 6% in New Year

Cash-strapped commuters face ANOTHER fare increase: Ticket prices to rise by inflation-busting 6% in New Year
New figures from train watchdogs revealed today
Regulated fares will rise by an average of 4.2 per centThe rise could have been more if not for government intervention to limit regulated fare risesDetails of all fare rises expected in coming days

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UPDATED:

02:04 GMT, 28 November 2012

Cash-strapped season ticket rail commuters face ‘painful’ inflation-busting fare rises of nearly 6 per cent in January, new figures from train watchdogs revealed today.

An annual ticket from Canterbury in Kent to London will be going up from 4,588 to 4,860 – a 5.9 per cent rise, according to figures from rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus.

That is more than twice the rate of inflation currently at 2.7 per cent.

Cash-strapped season tickets rail commuters face 'painful' fare rises of nearly 6 per cent in January

Inflation-buster: Cash-strapped season tickets rail commuters face 'painful' fare rises of nearly 6 per cent in January

Some other Kent travellers – those buying season tickets from Tonbridge to London – will face a 5.2 per cent rise from January 2, with their fare going up to 3,796.

Regulated fares, which include season tickets, will rise by an average of 4.2 per cent from January.

Other fares picked out by Passenger Focus today that will rise above this 4.2 per cent average include Northampton to London (up 4.7 per cent to 4,980); Morpeth to Newcastle-upon-Tyne (up 5.0 per cent to 1,008) and Llanelli to Swansea (up 5.4 per cent to 624).

Other above-average rises highlighted by Passenger Focus are Bangor-Llandudno (up 5.2 per cent to 1,140) and Ludlow to Hereford (up 5.3 per cent to 1,192).

Some season tickets are not rising as much as 4.2 per cent, while others are on, or very close, to the average.

The cost of a season from Shenfield in Essex to London, for example, actually dips in price, from 2,720 to 2,704, while an Ellesmere Port to Chester annual ticket is rising only 2.3 per cent to 720.

Passenger Focus said that it appeared that train companies were exercising restraint but added that the price rises will still feel steep in some places

Passenger pain: Passenger Focus said it appeared that train companies were exercising restraint but added that the price rises will still feel steep in some places

Among season ticket fares that are rising by less than 4 per cent are Aylesbury-London (up 3.2 per cent), Cambridge-London (up 3.8 per cent), Tain-Inverness (up 3.8 per cent) and Stirling-Glasgow (up 3.9 per cent).

The rises could have been steeper but for an intervention by the Government to limit the regulated fare rise to RPI inflation (as of July 2012) plus 1 per cent, rather than the planned RPI plus 3 per cent increase.

Train companies have the flexibility to raise some season tickets above the 4.2 per cent ceiling as long as the average increase on their trains is no more than 4.2 per cent.

Passenger Focus said that it appeared
that train companies were exercising restraint but added that the price
rises will still feel steep in some places.

Regulated fares, which include season tickets, will rise by an average of 4.2 per cent from January

Rising fares: Regulated fares, which include season tickets, will rise by an average of 4.2 per cent from January

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: ‘Passengers will feel this pain. After years of above-inflation fare rises, fresh increases are piling pressure on already high fares.

'The Government and the rail industry must now work together to deliver on the welcome promise to get fare rises in line with inflation.'

Regulated fares account for around 4 0per cent of total fares. Train companies can raise non-regulated fares by as much as they like.

Details of all fare rises are expected in the next few days.